Book review – Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Earlier this year I read – and loved – Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (review here), so I really wanted to check out her other two novels. As soon as I spotted this recently in my local library, I happily snapped it up.

amyI would say this novel definitely comes under the Young Adult Fiction category – although it does have a small smattering of swearing, a teeny bit of sex and a subtle bit of drug use.

The novel is narrated by Amy, who lives in California. Three months ago, her dad died, which she is struggling to comes to terms with – especially as she blames herself for his death. Since his death, her twin brother has ended up in rehab and her mother has sold their house and moved to Connecticut leaving Amy to finish up at school on her own before driving over to Connecticut herself. But there is one problem – Amy won’t drive any more.

Enter Roger – an old childhood friend who is now rather gorgeous, and has been enlisted to drive Amy across the states. It is here that their adventures begin…

I did enjoy this story – it is very similar to Since You’ve Been Gone in many ways, as we follow the narrator’s journey through an almost coming-of-age process. The main characters are really endearing, and I felt for poor Amy who had been abandoned by her mother and really just needed someone to talk to. The road trip the pair takes is also interesting as we are introduced to a lot of different states and some quirky characters along the way. The author had obviously done her research, so the book felt like a fun geography lesson at times I also liked that the novel was interspersed with playlists, receipts and other little items that they pick up on their adventure.

I suppose one issue I did have with this book is although the story is sweet and interesting, and I really liked the characters, the plot didn’t really grip me and I did find I had a bit of a lull in the middle of the book when it did feel a bit samey. However, it did pick up again towards the end and overall I did enjoy it.

I would definitely recommend this novel to older young adults, and fans of the genre in general. It’s a sweet, light read which manages to be fun, serious and educational all at once.

My rating: 7 out of 10

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